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Review: CharterOak Acoustics SP-1 (GMP 450 Pro) - Page 23

post #331 of 356

Strongly considering balancing these for the incoming BHA-1 I just ordered biggrin.gif

 

Your pics will certainly prove useful kkl10 if I decide to do it, so thanks for that!  Not quite sure I want to void the lifetime warranty however... but I really feel like these guys could respond well to being balanced!

 

Ideally I would solder some detach unit to the driver so I could switch between single ended and balanced.  It also doesn't look like any pre-built balanced solutions exist so I'm going to have to go the DIY route.

 

Should be fun if I do it!
 

post #332 of 356

Uoh oOH the Bryston BHA-1!

That's massive amp but won't that be kinda overkill for the SP-1, lol?

Your SP-1 better not crying for more!

I'll want to see how it goes.

I hope you ear worthwhile improvement. :)

 

On my part I can say that the V100 is just what I was expecting, a transparent and powerfull amp.

My modded GMP 400 is actually more efficient than stock and gets louder easier, but the D100 amp just didn't have the control and authority at louder volume which caused some distortion and sounded lacking a bit of body and weight overall.

The V100 has no problem whatsoever driving both the GMP400 and DT880 600Ohm at the same time.

It's great how the GMP 400 sounds so good at louder volumes now, without distortion.

 

I wasn't expecting a big jump in proficiency from my GMP as it sounds already pretty good out of my Clip+, but I noticed that with the V100 the upper treble opened up and gained some more extension, midrange clarity also improve a bit.

Unfortunatelly I still haven't got myself a new Dac, so I'm feeding the V100 with my PC crappy line-out which is a noticeable bottleneck, I'm pretty set on the ODAC now, though.

 

About the Beyer DT880 600 Ohm, "well... this Beyer is crap", was my initial impression at first listen and still is somewhat but I want to give it more time and get the Dac before getting rid of it...

I don't want to comment on it to much yet, but I can say that it has a couple of enjoyable things, the punchy bass and overall articulation... also made me realise how I went to far trying to add bass body into my GMP so it was a worthwhile endeavour because of that.

But what's up with the mids???! it severelly lacks transparency, it has an omnipresent treble glare to it's thin and 'edgy' sound, sounds very splashy and artificial almost *cough* low-fi compared to my GMP...

I think most of it's issues are caused by it's semiclosed design but I may be wrong...

I dislike it even more than the stock GMP 450 which at least had a present midrange and lacked assassin treble.

The DT880 mids suck... literally... mid sucker treble killer is what it sounds to me.


Edited by kkl10 - 1/17/13 at 3:17pm
post #333 of 356

Interesting impressions about the DT880.  I think you may have solved some of my curiosity issues I had associated with that set.  I won't be checking them out now.

 

As far as the BHA-1 being overkill for the SP-1?  Maybe... but I have a feeling the SP-1 is a nicer headphone than the price tags might suggest, and when fed the right signal might hold their own against some much bigger guns.  I may not have owned an HD800/T1/LCD2/3 or TH900 but I have owned and heard some higher end sound on the speaker side of things(my Canton setup is hardly a slouch)--and the SP-1 certainly has some noteworthy qualities.  I also think the SP-1 may be kind of difficult to drive, given the high impedance coupled with the modest sensitivity.

 

As I demo more and more headphone setups I realize this.  I agree with you about the D100 running out of steam at higher volumes, even though it does a pretty good job at lower volumes.  I believe the D100's amp section just doesn't have the authority to give the high impedance SP-1 what it deserves (or rather what it needs to function at a higher level).  The BHA-1 will have plenty of voltage swing, especially if I decide to go the balanced route.

 

I'll definitely be leaving the SP-1 single ended until I get more input from others and play around with the different inputs on the Bryston (SE or BAL in).

 

I was leaning toward the Yulong A18 because it seemed like a really nice amp for the $ (and not mention should pair well with Yulong's own D100), but decided I wouldn't want that much euphonic coloration that is described by many of its owners.

 

I'm a week or more out to having the BHA-1 in my hands, but I will definitely keep this thread updated (and of course, pics!).  I'm excited to see what, or even if, the SP-1 has more to offer.
 


Edited by R-Audiohead - 1/17/13 at 5:15pm
post #334 of 356

You can always mod the DT880 into a closed back version. That will tame the treble and brings out the mids. But the sound wil remain rather bright, lightweight and sibilant.

 

There's 'something' about my GMP's and QP. that the DT880 lacks. Only vintage AKG's comes close IMO.

post #335 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiemen View Post

You can always mod the DT880 into a closed back version. That will tame the treble and brings out the mids. But the sound wil remain rather bright, lightweight and sibilant.

 

There's 'something' about my GMP's and QP. that the DT880 lacks. Only vintage AKG's comes close IMO.


Have you tried the 450 PRO?  Is it close to the 90x?

post #336 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by R-Audiohead View Post


Have you tried the 450 PRO?  Is it close to the 90x?

 

No, never heard the 450 Pro.

All the GMP's and QP I have, are in my sig.

post #337 of 356

I clicked on your 8.300D link and noticed you had mentioned people had been saying the 805HS sounded dark?

 

It made me laugh.. there is a pretty apparent upper midrange peak that makes the 805 quite the opposite
 

post #338 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by R-Audiohead View Post

I clicked on your 8.300D link and noticed you had mentioned people had been saying the 805HS sounded dark?

 

It made me laugh.. there is a pretty apparent upper midrange peak that makes the 805 quite the opposite
 

 

Just reporting what others mentioned.......

post #339 of 356

I'm not modding the Beyer mainly because I plan to eventually sell/trade for a HD600.

And I think that turning them into a closed headphone would make things worse to my ears, despite the correction in FR...

For curiosity sake, I briefly installed the stock velour earpads of the GMP 400 on the DT880 which resulted in a big! FR change for the positive and much more to my liking but the mids became kinda honky sounding, some strange reverb in there, and the overall sound was still artificial and lacking transparency...

The DT880 to my ears has excessive lower treble emphasys with slugish decay which makes it very splashy and sibilant sounding no matter what earpads are mounted.

 

And it reminds me the Vsonic GR07 IEM which I disliked for a similar reason, it's noticeable that both are trying to hard to sound neutral but they don't succeed and the mids end up being unaturally recessed/distant in the overall presentation and are covered by the bass (GR07, to bassy) or treble (DT880, to bright).

The DT880 mids remind me of the GR07s but the Beyer has brighter and less warm mids with similar timbre... going by memory...

 

It's difficult for me to imagine that anyone can enjoy listening to this headphone unless the recording is warm and extremelly well mastered.

It is clearly designed to ruthlessly expose the flaws of a recording, not for music enjoyment. :P

post #340 of 356

My modded GMP 400 is not neutral neither, it's clearly warmer and darker than stock configuration.

Compared to the Beyer, the bass of my GMP seems bloated and slow but the overall sound is just in another league transparency wise.

The truth is that the bass as it is in my GMP just fits right on the overall sound signature, the whole FR spectrum is so well integrated very natural sounding.

I have to admit that I am not trying to achieve a perfectly neutral sound at all, it's something slightly different.

My modded GMP is pretty much finalized, as I can't find anything in it's sound that bothers me anymore... at least until I get HD600 or higher model and compare...

I'll have to see if I can get someone to listen to these and hear the word.

Eventually I'll realise the mod for public consumption once I get myself a camera.

 

EDIT: This is all very subjective on my part, of course.


Edited by kkl10 - 1/18/13 at 3:08pm
post #341 of 356

Modding the DT880 into a closed back is more than just switching ear pads, see http://www.head-fi.org/t/424842/beyerdynamic-dt880-closed-back

post #342 of 356

Yeah, I'm aware of it.

I didn't relate the earpad switching with the mod.

But I'm still not convinced that the mod would make it good enough for me... I'm not sure how it deals with the inner enclosure reflections and driver dampening....

It's a pretty cool and well documented mod, though, and I certainly would like to try it if I were not to sell the Beyer.

I hope I'll be able to document mine as well as NoXter.

post #343 of 356

Would like to express my satisfaction with the Violectric amp.

 

It's amazingly transparent and dynamic! I love this amp!

It makes my GMP give me goosebumps almost every time there's big dynamic contrast in a song, this is something I had never experienced through the D100 amp.

And it does so with a sense of smoothness and effortlessness that really amazes me.

This is also letting me to know the real capabilities of the GMP, at least my modded pair, it's an amazingly transparent and powerfull combination.

Very clear now how the Sansa Clip+ is not giving enough power to the GMP, compared to the V100 it's sounds noticeably lacking speed, dynamics, resolution, separation, etc, it's very noticeable, the difference is not subtle!

The D100 amp never showed such superiority over the Clip+, it had naturally more to offer, but the gains were almost subtle.

 

One thing that I still like about the Clip+ is it's tonality and coherence, I actually prefer to feed the RCA analog inputs of the V100 with the Clip+ HP out than with the ODAC line out! confused.gif

But this is probably explained by the fact that the ODAC is very transparent and if connected to a noisy source, like my PC USB ports, it will show up on the output.

With a better source, though, the Clip+ shouldn't stand a chance...

 

I got the ODAC a few days ago and man how I REGRET having sold the Yulong!!! frown.gif

The ODAC is a clear improvement over the PC onboard line out but it's not in the same league of the Yulong, no way, at least when connected directly to the PC USB port...

It doesn't display the overall refinement and resolution of the D100 Dac.

There aren't also no advanced anti-jitter features in the ODAC like the Yulong has and it is USB powered which may cause some of the sonic detriments.

This makes it very source dependent, as I have noticed, thus I plan to get a battery pack and maybe some power filtering device to see what it will do to the ODAC performance... hopefully it will shorten the gap...

Because I'm pretty sure that my noisy PC is contributing to sonic degradation.

 

The ODAC is not bad at all, though, it's pretty nice on it's own and other than a bit of "digitis" (unnatural digital glare) syndrome I don't notice any other unnatural tone from it, it's transparent and neutral, not too dissimilar from the Yulong. I believe the "digitis" can be atenuated with some power filtration or simply a better source.

 

Overall, I feel that I have made a worthwhile sonic upgrade because the amp is really in control of the situation now. smile.gif

I just feel so sorry of not the Yulong absence, it would really blow me away... oh well.

 

Sorry for keeping it all about my modded GMP, it doesn't trully relate to the SP-1, I should eventually open a new thread to discuss my pair or switch to the recently oppened Appreciation Thread...

I rarelly feel compelled to give such compliments to any piece of gear, I'm much more critical, but I feel that it's deserved in this case.

 

Anyway, this is all to say that these GMPs really deserve some serious amplification behind them to trully shine and give you all the goods. ;)

 

What I can say about the DT880 at this moment is that, although, I've tried to acclimatize to it, and despite showing some improvement with the V100 over the Clip+ it just doesn't have the resolution and transparency to deserve it, IMO.

To my ears it's a closed headphone trying to mimic an open headphone and it shows by how artificial and unnatural it sounds... I'm getting rid of it.

The DT880 sounds as acoustically 'overprocessed' as I would imagine any other closed headphone to be. It's the same issue I had with the GMP 450 Pro.

It's a shame, I feel the drives are not too bad at all, but one is never going to be able to carve a trully open and tonally transparent sound out of a closed enclosure.

 

I need to get myself a Sennheiser.

post #344 of 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

Would like to express my satisfaction with the Violectric amp.

 

It's amazingly transparent and dynamic! I love this amp!

It makes my GMP give me goosebumps almost every time there's big dynamic contrast in a song, this is something I had never experienced through the D100 amp.

And it does so with a sense of smoothness and effortlessness that really amazes me.

This is also letting me to know the real capabilities of the GMP, at least my modded pair, it's an amazingly transparent and powerfull combination.

Very clear now how the Sansa Clip+ is not giving enough power to the GMP, compared to the V100 it's sounds noticeably lacking speed, dynamics, resolution, separation, etc, it's very noticeable, the difference is not subtle!

The D100 amp never showed such superiority over the Clip+, it had naturally more to offer, but the gains were almost subtle.

 

One thing that I still like about the Clip+ is it's tonality and coherence, I actually prefer to feed the RCA analog inputs of the V100 with the Clip+ HP out than with the ODAC line out! confused.gif

But this is probably explained by the fact that the ODAC is very transparent and if connected to a noisy source, like my PC USB ports, it will show up on the output.

With a better source, though, the Clip+ shouldn't stand a chance...

 

I got the ODAC a few days ago and man how I REGRET having sold the Yulong!!! frown.gif

The ODAC is a clear improvement over the PC onboard line out but it's not in the same league of the Yulong, no way, at least when connected directly to the PC USB port...

It doesn't display the overall refinement and resolution of the D100 Dac.

There aren't also no advanced anti-jitter features in the ODAC like the Yulong has and it is USB powered which may cause some of the sonic detriments.

This makes it very source dependent, as I have noticed, thus I plan to get a battery pack and maybe some power filtering device to see what it will do to the ODAC performance... hopefully it will shorten the gap...

Because I'm pretty sure that my noisy PC is contributing to sonic degradation.

 

The ODAC is not bad at all, though, it's pretty nice on it's own and other than a bit of "digitis" (unnatural digital glare) syndrome I don't notice any other unnatural tone from it, it's transparent and neutral, not too dissimilar from the Yulong. I believe the "digitis" can be atenuated with some power filtration or simply a better source.

 

Overall, I feel that I have made a worthwhile sonic upgrade because the amp is really in control of the situation now. smile.gif

I just feel so sorry of not the Yulong absence, it would really blow me away... oh well.

 

Sorry for keeping it all about my modded GMP, it doesn't trully relate to the SP-1, I should eventually open a new thread to discuss my pair or switch to the recently oppened Appreciation Thread...

I rarelly feel compelled to give such compliments to any piece of gear, I'm much more critical, but I feel that it's deserved in this case.

 

Anyway, this is all to say that these GMPs really deserve some serious amplification behind them to trully shine and give you all the goods. ;)

 

What I can say about the DT880 at this moment is that, although, I've tried to acclimatize to it, and despite showing some improvement with the V100 over the Clip+ it just doesn't have the resolution and transparency to deserve it, IMO.

To my ears it's a closed headphone trying to mimic an open headphone and it shows by how artificial and unnatural it sounds... I'm getting rid of it.

The DT880 sounds as acoustically 'overprocessed' as I would imagine any other closed headphone to be. It's the same issue I had with the GMP 450 Pro.

It's a shame, I feel the drives are not too bad at all, but one is never going to be able to carve a trully open and tonally transparent sound out of a closed enclosure.

 

I need to get myself a Sennheiser.

 

 

I appreciate the comments even though this is the SP-1 thread.  I think the comments are also relevant... while your modded GMP, or any GMP for the matter are different than the SP-1, they certainly share many similar characteristics.

 

This has me very excited for my BHA-1 to show up, and provides evidence toward my hunch that these drivers are power hungry and when fed properly, truly have some potential.

 

And my experience with the D100 mirrors yours - yes the amp is clean, but lacks transparency and definitely some dynamics.  It also runs out of steam quick with the SP-1 yet still has surprisingly little headroom.  It's a DAC with a cute amp slapped onto it.

 

Will report back when the BHA-1 arrives.

post #345 of 356
re odac vs d100 you suuure? largely, the asrc chip in benchmark dac and d100 is marketing... supposedly, odac was meant to be indistinguishable by ear to benchmark dac (and by extension d100, which dac section-wise is more or less a clone of dac1)
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